JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After falling behind two sets to none, Jacksonville University's volleyball team persevered and fought its way back to win the fifth set in extra points and defeat Stetson, 3-2, in ASUN Conference play, Friday evening at Historic Swisher Gymnasium.
"Our grit and our resilience that we showed after those first two sets was crazy," said Head Coach Julie Darty. "I told the girls they had a choice, if they want to dial in and pick it up and giddy up for three more sets, let's do it. I thought the response was perfect."
"Mallory was unbelievable tonight," added Darty. "She hasn't been playing back row for us lately, but we left her in. I thought her numbers were really good back there, our defense was really good. I think our offense was really balanced. Jizzy is doing a fantastic job of stressing other teams out and being a threat. I'm just really proud of the girls, a win is a win in this conference."
In a marathon match that saw 31 ties in the score, and 11 in the final set alone, the Dolphins persevered in extra points to eventually earn the victory after back-to-back kills from Olga Nushtayeva and Cristina Finan gave the Green and White a 20-18 advantage.
After falling behind in the opening two sets, 25-15 and 25-22, the Dolphins powered through the would-be final game and used a huge 10-point rally behind Mattingly's serves to overcome a 13-17 deficit and lead 23-18. Both teams battled back and forth, but the hosts came out on top following a Hatter service error.
With a huge win in set three, the Dolphins leapt out to 6-1 lead and never relinquished the lead enroute to a 25-17 win.
The momentum stayed with JU as the Dolphins again took an early lead, 3-0, but the visitors fought back and battled for the crucial ASUN victory. Despite tying the game several times in the set, the Hatters never took the lead as JU continued to dual and got the final two kills from Nushtayeva and Finan.
"We're hungry, and definitely humble after being down those first two sets," concluded Darty. "We're excited for tomorrow and a win is a win and I'll take it."
The Dolphins returns to Historic Swisher Gymnasium Saturday, October 29 to square off with Florida Gulf Coast at 5 p.m.